Have you ever thought about automating a process in your daily life? No matter what role you have in your business, those repressive tasks in your day-to-day life can become mundane. Unfortunately, there are negative connotations around automation and machines doing a human’s work. Oftentimes these thoughts are based on myths or misconceptions about technology and automation specifically – let’s bust 7 myths about automation:
Want to learn ore about what automation is? Read more here.
Myth 1: Automation is expensive
One major misconception revolving around automation is that it is costly – meaning that it is definitely not an option for small businesses and only used by larger organizations. This is untrue now more than ever, partly due to the pandemic. While automation can be expensive – the majority of the time, the benefits outweigh the initial investment, which any size business can invest in.
For example, let’s assume your company is paying for labour costs for a task that takes a person 8 hours per week to complete. You probably don’t think twice about paying labour costs, but automation could help reduce this drastically. A proper software solution could be implemented that completes the same task without having to pay for the labour. Over time, there will be a return on investment (ROI), but it is important to know it will not be immediately.
Automation can be expensive, but it does not mean it isn’t worth it.
Myth 2: Automation replaces jobs
Many people believe that the labor market is shrinking because of automation. While many machines replace the work of people, it can actually result in the creation of jobs as well. Automation is redefining the workforce. This article by the Harvard Business Review explains that jobs are being displaced and there is a shift in the workforce – but it isn’t shrinking.
The jobs that are disappearing are routine and require low skill levels. There is an increased demand for jobs that require critical thinking like data analysts, project managers, and technology specialists. Machines are disruptive innovators that are challenging us to enhance our skills. While machines are taking away some jobs, they are also creating and shifting the job market drastically.
Myth 3: Automation is just ‘robots’
Automation is not just the typical robots portrayed in science-fiction media. Automated machines can vary between hardware and software solutions and can range from; automated manufacturing plants and self-driving cars, to workplace automation. According to co-founder and COO of Placeste, Fred Townes, “automation takes a lot of forms. For small businesses, the most important thing is [to discover tasks that are highly repetitive]. When you find something you do more than once that adds value … you want to look into automation.”
Many small medium enterprises [SME] already use automation without realizing it, such as for email campaigns using off-the-shelf software solutions like MailChimp or MailerLite. Customized software solutions can automate jobs specific to your organization for better user experience, depending on the task at hand.
Myth 4: Automation is complicated
Automating tasks is simpler then it appears, especially with the right team. Implementing a software solution can seem daunting to a business owner with limited experience in the tech industry. Working with the right cloud or software provider, they will become part of your team to deliver a product that works best with your workflow. There are most likely processes in your daily life that are automated, that you may not even realize.
For example, your bank probably offers the option to automate paying bills and other payees from your account on a certain day of the month. This relieves you of the hassle of having to remind yourself to make constant payments. Without realizing it, there are uncomplicated automated processes in your life. Imagine the possibilities of automating other tasks!
Myth 5: Technology reduces the security of a business and its data
There is a lot of lack of trust between users and technology because of a lack of knowledge. The chances of Google or Microsoft web services going down is extremely rare. They have created mandatory backups that store your data in a safe place that is receivable to only you. In a similar sense, custom software is designed and created with cybersecurity as a top priority.
In this day and age, when conducting business cyber security should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Meaning your software provider is dedicated to keeping your data safe.
Myth 6: Automation is always right
Just like humans, machines make mistakes. For a machine to run, it requires code that has no common sense. Meaning that even if you input data into a machine, it should be monitored by an employee to ensure everything runs smoothly. Autonomous machines require less human interaction than automated, but still, require some level of monitoring. This also includes updates to ensure you are running the most up-to-date version of your software.
Myth 7: Automation is just for big businesses
As mentioned, many people assume that because of the costs and scope of automation, it is just for large organizations. Technology allows smaller businesses to compete with larger competitors. The pandemic has shown this better than ever. 79% of consumers have made a purchase using a mobile device in the last six months and 80% of consumers look up product information, reviews, and prices on their smartphones while shopping in a physical store. Automated chatbots that appear on your website to answer questions quickly help consumers purchase the items they have sitting in their carts. These myths are not limited to large businesses – any organization, no matter what size, can access automated services and connect it to their existing ecosystem, easily and affordably.
Automating processes is an emerging technology in the coming years. It is important to understand and utilize it as a tool. Have any other myths or questions about automation? Talk to an expert at Sangwa!